Information Warfare: November 1, 2002

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A navy investigation over this past Summer reported that the Pacific Fleet was missing nearly 600 computers, including 14 that contained classified data. Thats good news and bad news. The good news is that this is a much lower number of missing computers than for a comparable sized civilian organization. The bad news is that most of these computers are probably not actually missing but merely the result of errors in the inventory database. This is a more serious problem that stolen computers, for the database systems are old and cranky while the clerks maintaining them are often very young and inexperienced. This is a bad combination that causes all manner of problems the navy would rather not have discussed in public. Most of the remaining missing computers were probably issued to officers or senior NCOs who either left them with some other ship or organization (could you have someone take care of the paperwork on this for me?) or turned them in without following the proper procedures (could you have someone take care of the paperwork on this for me?). The rest were probably stolen. What's really interesting is now the media did not dig a little deeper to find out what was really going on here. Although in the case, the navy probably preferred that approach.

 


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